faustaby Fausta Rodriguez Wertz

Back when other middle school girls were reading Nancy Drew, I discovered Arthur Conan Doyle‘s Sherlock Holmes books and became a life-long fan.

They used to play Basil Rathbone’s Sherlock Holmes movies on TV when I lived in Puerto Rico, back in the days when TV sets had no remotes, so I watched those, too, even when Holmes (Basil) verbally abused Watson (played by Nigel Bruce) in the likes of:

Nigel: How did you solve that, Holmes?
Basil: It was elementary [snotty/condescending explanation follows]
Nigel: I see! Even a child could have solved it!
Basil (sneers): Not your child, Watson.

I’m a moderate, low-key, FaceBook-type fan; not one that joins Sherlock Holmes fan clubs (I did take a Holmes-themed walking tour of London years ago) or remembers much trivia, but a fan all the same. In addition to having read all the Conan Doyle books, over the years I’ve watched several Sherlock incarnations, including Michael Caine in an awful movie aptly named Without a Clue to Robert Downey Jr.’s martial arts Sherlock. The supreme, definitive, Sherlock is Jeremy Brett, who was able to develop his character over the years and whose Sherlock lived in nicely-appointed Eduardian lodgings.

So last night I thought I’d watch CBS’s Elementary. Its Sherlock lives in modern squalor (inexplicably he has a $10,000 Viking range but his walls need paint), the plot didn’t exactly grab me, and my room needed tidying up so I watched while doing light housework. The suspect responsible for some deadly Anthrax poisonings turned out to be some dude with “extreme radical leanings. . . They hate the government, including the NYPD, but they’re big fans of violence and the Second Amendment.”

Now, in my ripe old age I know propaganda when I see it: A love of violence is equal to a love for one article of the Bill of Rights, because guns. It was 15 minutes or so into the show, and in my ripe old age I don’t waste time turning off the TV, either.

Bye-bye, Elementary.

Over the pond, where they have very restrictive gun laws, Sherlock (whose apartment is a museum of ugly wallpaper) is packing heat, big time.

Fausta Rodriguez Wertz writes on U.S. and Latin American politics and culture at Fausta’s blog.



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